Alfalfa hay quality in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/technical_reports/3n204073t

Information contained within documents may be obsolete. Please check for recent information at the OSU Extension Service website:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/results.php?cat=Agriculture

Published October 1981. Facts and recommendations in this publication may no longer be valid. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog

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  • New grading standards for hay have been proposed by the American Forage and Grassland Council and the Federal Grain Inspection Service. This publication traces the development of these standards, describes new terminology, and reports on research conducted at Oregon State University to evaluate these new standards. Alfalfa hay samples obtained from five distinct geographical areas in Oregon were subjected to various chemical analyses (crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, in vitro dry matter digestibility, calcium, and phosphorous). Differences between values for regions and cuttings were quite small, with mean values falling within the limits presently defined as Grade 2 alfalfa hay. This indicates that management factors are more important than geographical region or cutting in determining hay quality. These results also point out the importance of hay testing in providing an objective measure of hay quality. Animal production studies also were conducted on alfalfa hays of varying quality. Acid detergent fiber was found to be a good predictor of both animal intake and digestibility. Milk production was greatest from cows fed rations containing high-quality hay when rations contained 45 percent hay, but no significant differences were observed when cows were fed rations containing only 30 percent hay.
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